The Difficulties of Parenting a Bullied Child

It must be so difficult on parents to keep their child’s spirit up when they are getting bullied at school or online. My heart goes out to parents of bullied children. It must take quite an emotional toll.

None more so, than father of bullied teen Catherine Bernard:

A government partnership with Facebook is also on the cards to try and stamp out the scourge after schoolgirl Catherine Bernard took her own life earlier this month.

She died after returning home from her first day of year 12.

The 17-year-old Emmaus College student from Melbourne’s eastern suburbs told her dad Michael the night she died she had been bullied at school, and later on Facebook.

An emotional Mr Bernard this morning thanked Education Minister Martin Dixon for taking the issue seriously.

“He has pledged money to support the cause and if he does what he says then it can only be a good thing,” he said.

“All I wanted is to open people’s eyes and I think that is happening.

“People have to take this issue seriously.

“If we can save just one person then it means Catherine didn’t die in vain.”

Psychologist Jodie Benveniste has outlined some tips for parents who suspect their child is a bully.

SIGNS TO LOOK FOR
– Aggressive behaviour beyond the usual sibling spats at home.
– Talking aggressively or negatively about others at school.
– Coming home with money or items that don’t belong to them.
– Spending more time on the internet than usual.
– Being hyped up, aggressive or arrogant after time on the internet.

WHAT PARENTS CAN DO
– Model good behaviour. Don’t be aggressive towards your child.
– Teach them appropriate ways to interact with others from a young age.
– Teach them appropriate coping strategies to deal with life’s challenges and disappointments.
– Keep the lines of communication open with your child. Talk to them often.
– Don’t be in denial. Work with your child’s school to address the bullying.

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2 Responses to “The Difficulties of Parenting a Bullied Child”

  1. John Tapscott Says:

    One of the biggest problems with school bullying is that it is often not recognised and sometimes blatantly denied. My son was very badly bullied in a school where I was on the staff. I told the principal and I might as well have been picking my nose for all the notice he took, and couldn’t believe it when I enrolled him in a school in a neighbouring town.

    Bullying is very unlikely to be recognised in a school where the hierarchy uses it as a management tool.

    In one school I had a 13 year old girl in my reintegration after suspension program who had been suspended for throwing a garbage bin lid at the deputy principal.

    This child was from another town and had come to spend some time with her grandmother. I checked with a colleague from the other town and learned that he held this child in high regard. Her mother was an alcoholic and out of it most of the time. Her father wasn’t around. She took the responsibility of looking after her younger siblings, feeding them, dressing them, bringing them to school, looking after them at school and more. We were dealing with a very responsible and competent young lady. I found her to be a most respectful child and a cooperative student.

    Why did she throw the garbage bin lid at the deputy? She was being bullied, which was one of this deputy’s chief strategies, and had been backed into a corner with no room to move. Furthermore I saw and heard this deputy’s not too carefully veiled threats against staff members during meetings.

    Now as long as our education authorities resort to bullying and encourage it as a management tool we will have great difficulty eliminating it from our schools and from among our students.

  2. makethea Says:

    Reblogged this on makethea.

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